Managing Your Brand’s Online Reputation: Part 2

Helping you make sure that everyone knows how great your business is.
This is the second part of a two-part series covering the basics of protecting your brand’s online reputation. If you have yet to read the first article covering social media and domains you can read it here.
In our first post we addressed the basics of social media and web addresses as a part of your marketing strategy to protect your brand image. Now we do realize that many small businesses don’t have the time to constantly monitor Facebook and Twitter, and also lack the funds to purchase every possible domain that could be linked to their brand. Both of the areas we covered in our last post are helpful when moving forward in business, however, and it is up to you to determine  the priority of each of these areas. 
In this post we will be covering two more basic reputation boosting areas: email and blog content. These two customer facing platforms can boost your reputation, but beware that they also have the potential to damage it as well. By covering the basics you can ensure that you customers and website visitors always see your best side.
Email can help create brand loyalty and encourage return visitors, but sending out mass emails can be a bit of a minefield. There are some protocols that need to be followed to ensure that you are in compliance with the laws and regulations concerning email. For example, did you know that you are required to include a physical street or PO Box address on each email you send? If you fail to do this you could be fined up to $16,000. This is part of a set of laws referred to as CAN SPAM – you can read more about it here.
The basics rules to follow when sending email are pretty simple. Just be sure that you have approval for each email address you use: go through your mailing list often to check for bad addresses and always include an unsubscribe option to avoid problems. Make sure that emails are sent sparingly so as to not annoy readers and that your email includes important information that is interesting to recipients. Double check your grammar and always play it safe when addressing any topics that may be seen as sensitive. Far too many businesses have damaged their reputations due to an insensitive joke through email.
Blog Content
Now for the fun part of being a website administrator. It is a good general rule to always include a blog within your website as the benefits far outweigh the problems. It is a great way to improve search engine optimization and also gives you a chance to brag about all the amazing things your company is doing. You can decide exactly how long your posts are and how often you post, but once you decide this, try and stick to it.
Address topics that you know your site visitors will be looking for, as long as it is relevant to your industry. Keep away from anything political or controversial and stick to information that will maintain relevance in years to come. Remember that your blog posts are visible from the time they are posted until they are deleted, so only post wholesome content and clean out any old posts that are no longer true. Include a comments section on your blog so that you can interact with readers and take any advice they may have to offer.
Your readers and website visitors will have the best advice considering your brand reputation, so always take the opportunity to ask “how are we doing?” You may not always like the answer, but part of running a small business is taking the good with the bad, making the most of it and most importantly learning from it. Which is exactly why entrepreneurs our our favorite kind of people!

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